Tag Archives: Illamasqua

The Best of 2012

The Best of 2012Another year is coming to a close! Are you ready to see what 2013 brings?

What you probably didn’t know is that in 2012, I faced a lot of stressful issues in my personal life that caused me great emotional pain.

Blogging and interacting with you helped me push through it instead of giving up.

If you’ve been following Swatch And Learn for even a little while, I hope it’s evident that blogging and interacting with readers bring me a lot of happiness. Yes, it is hard work and very challenging to keep up, but I’m not the type of person who’s afraid of pulling up my sleeves to get things done.

Thank you for listening to what I think and for valuing my opinion, post after post and tweet after tweet. That is a big compliment!

Most of all, thank you, dear readers, for being encouraging and kind as well as for cracking the much-needed joke.

You remind me that genuinely good people are still out there. I needed that reminder, and you gave it to me in spades!

So, while in this post I list the best of 2012 in terms of nail polish, nail art, etc., I want you to know that Swatch And Learn readers are really the best of 2012!

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Illamasqua Raindrops Swatches & Review

Illamasqua Raindrops Swatches & ReviewHaha, unless you drank a lot of liquid and need to use the washroom, one of the most soothing sounds is the rain.

Illamasqua Raindrops is a special grey nail polish that was discontinued in the past.

However, Illamasqua listened to all their customers and brought this shade back from the dead!

Good news for you! In 2013, it’ll be available for sale again. So…there’s no need to stalk eBay or pay highly inflated prices!

P.S. After reading the cute handwritten note accompanying this polish, I was so excited, I literally tore open the package and quickly painted my nails like a possessed polish addict. (Sometimes nailphiles let emotions get the better of us…haha!) Despite my flawed application, I still enjoyed wearing this manicure for a couple of days and didn’t bother ‘fixing’ my mistakes. 🙂 Remember the philosophy I keep harping about on here: happiness is more important than perfection.

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Nail Art Tutorial: Sheep Nails (I Did This Look on a MAN!)

Sheep-Nails-Nail-Art-TutorialYou’ll remember that I blogged about painting my guy friends’ nails before. Well, ever since then, I’ve been itching to do it again. And I did! 😉

The Sheep Nail Art you see was the result of a very fun painting session!

I actually had this design in my head for quite some time and had wanted to do it on my own nails, but I was just too busy.

(In addition to having a full-time job, I’m also a professional freelance writer on the side. Haha, it feels like I’m always working! But when I have spare time, I squeeze in socializing with friends, daily blogging, and knitting.)

So when I was chilling with this guy, I was thrilled when he agreed to not only let me paint a sheep nail design on him, but also publish it on Swatch And Learn. Also, he wanted to confirm that he could remove it immediately after. (Haha, no, nail polish isn’t permanent!) So, just a few seconds after this little sheep was born, it was axed. Poor baby!

Keep reading this blog post because I show you step-by-step with written instructions and fun photos of this man’s thumb nail to help you recreate the look (or to help you convince the guys in your life to not take themselves too seriously). 😉

P.S. Funny thing is that he actually pointed out that I got some of the blue polish on his skin. And then he also mentioned that the sheep was missing its ear. Hahaha! Sorry that your first nail-art experience wasn’t perfect, Mr. Brawny Man! 😛 I’ll do better next time. Because…oh yeahhhh, there’ll be a next time…and another time after that…and another….Hehehehe! Practice makes perfect, right? Right! (He’s actually a professional artist, so that’s why he was very observant of my nail-painting flaws. Haha, he’s not a jerk.)

P.P.S. I would make a terrible nail technician. The entire time, I was smiling and giggling! I just couldn’t keep quiet no matter how hard I tried.

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Illamasqua Cameo Swatches & Review

Illamasqua-Cameo-Swatches-ReviewIllamasqua Cameo is another shade that’s new to Sephora.

It’s a gorgeous periwinkle that I think would create a lovely base for wintry nail art.

But that’s not to say this polish isn’t fabulous when worn solo! While it may not have any glitter, it takes to the nail stage like a diva singing that high note.

I very much enjoyed wearing this nail polish, and oddly I don’t have many periwinkle nail polishes in my collection, so I was really happy to have this one!

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Illamasqua Noble Swatches & Review

Illamasqua-Noble-Swatches-ReviewThe amazing Illamasqua team did it again – I came home to find a surprise package that instantly lifted my spirits!

Inside was Illamasqua Noble, which the handwritten note said was the latest addition to Sephora counters!

It came at a good time because, that night, I was already planning on changing my polish. No need to rummage through my bottles and decide. Illamasqua gave me the perfect polish to wear. No “I don’t have anything to wear” moment. 😉

Unfortunately, the weather was gloomy when I had my camera handy, so I couldn’t get any sunlight photos. And for some strange reason, I wasn’t able to accurately capture the colour despite fiddling around with many settings. (It is not a wintry blue like it appears in my photos! It’s a robin’s egg blue!)

I was so desperate to capture the true colour that I even took some shots in artificial lighting in my bathroom in hopes that it might help. (Yeah! That’s usually the worst lighting, but desperate times call for desperate measures, as they say…)

What a travesty, though, because I wish I could’ve shown you the true colour. To make up for it, I tried to describe the shade as best as I could in this post. And, although my photos don’t do this polish any justice, I hope that they’re helpful if only to see the finish and how smoothly and evenly the polish applies.

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Blog News: I Was Mentioned in a Sephora YouTube Video About Illamasqua Nail Polish

Hope that you’re having a fantastic Wednesday so far! Guess what? I’m about to freak out! 😉 I have something pretty cool to share!

One of my loyal readers, Olivia Frescura, told me yesterday that Sephora mentioned me in their YouTube video about the Illamasqua Rubber Brights Collection! (Edit: I later learned that this video was produced by the amazing Illamasqua team themselves for Sephora’s use. :D)

I’m so excited about this – it was a pleasant surprise! 🙂 They included me in their section about Illamasqua Nurture (the green polish in the new collection).

(You’ll remember that I reviewed and swatched it not too long ago. You can see my blog post on Illamasqua Nurture here.)

Swatch And Learn Mentioned in Sephora Illamasqua YouTube Video

Swatch And Learn in Sephora Illamasqua YouTube Video

What blew my mind was that they also featured quotes from Harpers Bazaar US, Scrangie, and a few other bloggers. It was a real honour to be in such incredible company!

In the video, they not only show the Illamasqua nail polishes, but they also show you a quick and easy nail tutorial. You can view the YouTube video here or by clicking on the screenshot above! (And if you want to see where they mention me, it’s at 0:51.)

I want to take this time to say a huge thank you to all of my wonderful readers for supporting me every step of the way. It means so much, and I’m looking forward to blogging for as long as I can. 🙂

What do you think of the nail art they did? Would you try it? Have you purchased any of the Illamasqua Rubber Brights polishes?


Nail Art: Half Moon Nails (Using Illamasqua Charisma & Illamasqua Creator)

Ruffian-Nails-Nail-Art-Pictures smallerOne of my wonderful readers asked me a little while ago if I could do Ruffian Nails with fall colours. It was exactly the push I needed to make my first attempt at this nail-art design.

I used Illamasqua Charisma and Illamasqua Creator, 2 polishes that I recently reviewed. (I’ve included links to both posts later on in case you’re curious about seeing swatches.)

Okay, so this colour combination is more winter than fall. And for a traditional Ruffian manicure, I should’ve brought the black further up on the nail so that there’s less of the raspberry showing. Now I know for next time! 🙂

Edit: Originally I called these Ruffian Nails. Hmm…but I now think it’s more accurate to call them Half Moon Nails. Apparently Ruffian nails are like thin Cs along the cuticle. Rats! All this time I thought this is what Ruffian nails were. Sorry about the confusion! I’ve swapped out the text later on in this post. (Looks like I’ll have to do another look to fulfil my reader’s request.)

Another Edit: Click here to see my post which actually features Ruffian nail art!

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